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Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc is an incredibly versatile grape that can produce wines ranging from dry to sweet, mineral to fruity. It is native to the Loire Valley in France, but due to its vigour and versatility it has spread to many other wine regions around the world. The biggest plantings outside of France, however, are in South Africa, where it is known as Steen.

France produces the broadest variety of Chenin Blanc. In the Loire Valley, Chenin is used to make single-varietal, dry wines in appellations such as Anjou, where the grape’s naturally high acidity creates wines of freshness and minerality. A bit further down the road in Vouvray, Chenin is used to make a more full-bodied, richer style of white, that often shows quince and apple aromas. In Coteaux de Layon, noble rot is encouraged on the vines, creating a sweet, botrytis dessert wine. Chenin is also produced throughout the Loire using the Champagne Method, to create the sparkling wine Cremant de Loire. Regardless of the style of wine the acidity retained in the Loire Valley acts as a perfect foil for the natural fruitiness of the grape.